The pressure to be perfect

It’s not like this is anything new – the idea you get of being the perfect human being. How many times have you cried out of frustration that you keep doing things wrong? How many times have you told yourself you’re a failure because you didn’t meet your own expectations of yourself? Or because you didn’t meet the expectations you think others have of you?

Your idea of perfect might or might not be the same I have, but you still try to meet those ideals. You want to be the perfect daughter/son so your parents are proud of you, the perfect student so both your parents and yourself boast in pride, the perfect sibling so you can be a good role-model,… And the list goes on and on. You want recognition, you want to feel like you’ve made it.

What you don’t know is how to do it in order to accomplish your goals – or maybe you do, but in most cases (including mine), you tend to feel lost. So many achievements, so many ideals to meet, so many expectations on your shoulders and you still don’t know where to start.

You point out your flaws instead, you end up feeling like trash because you’re losing time making yourself see the imperfections you’ve got instead of working on them. I’ll tell you a secret: nobody expects most of those things you believe they do.

Your parents don’t expect you to be an A+ student with a healthy lifestyle. They want you to be happy and they, of course, want you to be successful and healthy. They want you to study, but they don’t want you to overwork yourself to the point you’re sick; they also want you to go to the gym or go out for a jog, but they don’t want you to be self-conscious; they obviously want you to eat healthy, but they don’t want you to thin yourself to extremes.

You want to make them happy, you want to be happy, and you pressure yourself into being perfect.

Let me tell you something… Perfectionism doesn’t exist. Nobody can handle all those responsibilities you’re trying to add to the already heavy weight on your shoulders.

To be happy and to feel good with yourself, you have to take little steps: eat an apple right now or have your water bottle close to take sips ever few minutes, grab a book and read one or two paragraphs, grab your textbook and start reading calmly. Maybe after that, you can go ahead and do ONE thing you know you were supposed to do for a long time.

Once you’re a bit more relaxed and somewhat accomplished, write down a list of short-period and long-period goals. Highlight them in two different colors. Now, take a different colored pen and write down what you could do RIGHT NOW to change your current position towards them.

For example, in the case you’re failing a class, you could print out a schedule (such as the one from theorganisedstudent on Tumblr) and find space for revision. If you were hypothetically in bad shape, you could schedule a 30-minute walk today. Find a spot, schedule it and do it. No excuses.

If you keep on feeling like you’re not doing enough and you feel overly stressed with it, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can do it, with plenty of time and a lot of work. Procrastination stops now.

Go ahead and feel better with yourself, but never expect yourself to be perfect.